The rationale behind narrowing of the paths was, “how often do you really need a wheelbarrow to go through all the paths in such a small space?” The answer: quite a bit while filling raised beds with dirt, afterwards hopefully not so much. The wheelbarrow fits, but we have to lift it high enough to keep the back legs above the walls of the beds. This really is very doable until it’s filled with heavy topsoil, so we found ourselves running into corners and knocking nails loose while bumping and dumping. We had built the beds with nails we had on hand, which really weren’t long enough. So, my husband found himself running to the hardware store and reinforcing all the corners with longer nails before I ruined all his hard work with my wheelbarrow.
The nails made all the difference! This is working. Thanks to my housemate’s one day and my husband's help another, we have distributed the entire pile of topsoil . I think my body will scream at me if I shovel another load if I push it any harder...good thing planting and watering are a little easier on the muscles.